The former fiancee of Michael Lichaa has refused to show up to court and give evidence – because she is pregnant – as the ex-NRL star fights domestic violence allegations.
The former Cronulla and Canterbury hooker has denied assaulting his former partner Kara Childerhouse during a heated late-night incident in February last year.
The conclusion of the matter was due to be heard at Sutherland Local Court on Thursday and Friday.
Police allege Mr Lichaa, 29, was involved in an argument that prompted concerned neighbors to call police to his Connells Point home in southern Sydney.
The court was told that the incident occurred after Mr Lichaa caught Ms Childerhouse cheating on him with his best mate and former teammate Adam Elliott.
The court was due to hear evidence from Mr Elliott on Thursday.
However, the police prosecution applied for an adjournment after tending to a doctor’s note saying that Ms Childerhouse was pregnant and she claimed she was unfit to give evidence until October 31.
Hours later the court was told that Ms Childerhouse’s mother had arrived at Sutherland Court House and told police that Ms Childerhouse did not want to relive the “trauma” and was worried about the stress of having to give evidence having already twice been in the witness box. .
Ms Childerhouse was in the middle of cross-examination when she failed to show up to court on Thursday.
The prosecution conceded that there was no guarantee that she would show up to court if the hearing – which has already dragged on for nearly nine months – was further pushed back.
“I’ve not heard any information which provides me with any confidence that Ms Childerhouse is likely to attend if granted an adjournment,” magistrate Melissa Humphreys said.
“It would appear Ms Childerhouse no longer wishes to participate in the proceedings.”
Police had attempted to contact her by phone and email and knocked on her door on Thursday; however, she did not respond, the court was told.
Ms Childerhouse has previously given part of her evidence in closed court. Defense barrister James Trevallion applied for all of her testimony from her to be struck out because he had not been able to cross-examine her on key issues.
Ms Childerhouse had claimed that during the incident that Mr Lichaa pushed her, causing her to hit her head against a wall, the court was previously told.
Mr Lichaa has pleaded not guilty to common assault and stalking/intimidate causing fear of physical harm.
He pleaded guilty to the less serious charge of destroying property.
Earlier, Ms Humphreys ruled that a statement given by Ms Childerhouse, in which she retracted the allegations, would be admitted into evidence.
The hearing has now stretched on since late last year – day one of the trial was held in early November last year before it returned to court in March.
The proceedings have so far been concerned with legal arguments about the admissibility of Ms Childerhouse’s statutory declaration in which she said she did not want an AVO taken out on her behalf.
The police prosecution has asked Ms Humphreys to rule it inadmissible after Ms Childerhouse claimed that she was pressured into making it by Mr Lichaa, his parents and solicitor.
However, Ms Humphreys said she could make no finding of impropriety and said it would be included.
The hearing continues on Thursday.